Catching on that we were all travellers, he respectfully offered the ‘best value’ drop. ‘This is my favourite of our whole wine list,’ he said, cradling the bottle in his big hands.

Now, I’m not saying it was bad. It’s just that I’ve just grown up amidst the best wine in the world. I’d always thought SA wine was wine. But through my travels, I’ve learned just how freaking good our grapes really are.

When I think of wine, so much more than a glass of sauv blanc colours my mind.

Touring rustic wineries to celebrate one of my girlfriend’s birthday… 

Getting my group together to watch a band play at a winery festival… 

Taking a Sunday drive with my partner to try a new winery menu for lunch… 

For me, drinking wine is an experience. And in South Australia, there’s a lot of choice. Each one of our wine regions has a personality.

So, ‘who’ do you feel like hanging out with this weekend?

Who’s your perfect date…with an SA winery?  

Adelaide Hills: Mr. Charm 

Confident and charismatic, a day with him makes you yearn for the simple, laid back life he lives. His idea of date night is watching a small folk music band play, nestled next to the open, crackling fire. He’s got a lot to offer and there’s this undeniable, authentic vibe about him that’s hard to ignore. He rocks a Ralph cardy better than no other. Self-assured, yet grounded, he’s the perfect weekend date, Saturday or Sunday.

Coonawarra: Ms. Easy Going. 

She’s cute and has this city-girl-in-the-country vibe going on. You know, the kind of girl that loves metro, but fell in love with small-town. She spends her entire weekends exploring quirky abandoned train lines, beautiful lagoons, and limestone coasts. After an adventure-filled two days, she loves to treat herself to luxury. Quaint, heritage lodges are her home of choice. But before she watches the sun go down over the distant line of trees on the far horizon, she fills her stomach with locally-made cheese and seafood delicacies. She never rushes anything. Spend the whole weekend with her.

McLaren Vale: Ms. Playful.  

She’s the life of the party. Cheeky and playful, she’ll give you the true Aussie experience – beach, drinks, and music. ‘The Vale’ girl stands out in a crowd. It’s in her sassiness in what she wears and how she acts. Wearing a summery festival hat is totally okay with jeans and boots. She rounds up her friends and hosts dozens of festivals, year-round. She loves preparing a picnic basket and eating on the beach, just as much as a sit-down dinner. If you’re looking for a fabulous time, she’s it. Keep your Saturday free.

Barossa: Mr. Precision. 

He’s a chino-wearing, red wine guy who spends Sunday with his family. He’s respectful and was raised traditionally. His town is more than his home, but his heritage. His vines have become his art. Driven, hard-working and passionate, he spends hours in his shed with nothing but his tools. It’s his craftsman hands that has earned his reputation. He’s the type of guy you take home to meet your parents. He prefers land and nature over buildings and trains. He cooks his meals and owns a dog. Everyone loves him for his sophistication and taste. Dating him, he’ll show you there’s beauty in simplicity. Sunsets over rolling hills. Intricate carvings in wood. A picnic breakfast…  make sure you stay for the sunset and sunrise.

Travel, as education 

Sometimes it takes us leaving to see what’s right in front of us. We stop seeing things as we are, but rather as they are. Travel bridges the gap between observation and experience, giving us a better picture of a place.

Travelling is a mindset, not an action. We need to open our eyes and look at the things we do have. For me, as a proud Adelaidian, that’s wine… glorious wine.

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